This year's meal to usher in the Year of the Snake was at Shenzhen, a primarily Cantonese establishment.
The new year's rush meant that the god of chaos must have been barking the orders in the kitchen. The food, though fine, suffered slightly.
On to the chow.
Deep Fried Tofu with Mushrooms - soft Japanese style tofu is fried to a crisp edge and then drenched in a gravy containing enoki, shitake, and snow peas. One of my all time favorites here.
Asparagus stir fried with beef in black bean sauce. One of my complaints about the Chinese restaurants in PDX is that they don't seem to offer a huge amount of veggies as one might find in SF or other places with a larger Chinese population. And so it was a pleasant surprise when the waitress rattled off the choices. The beef was of decent-but not the best-quality. Asparagus at this time year is always a welcome harbinger of spring. This dish stood out for its execution. It had the much desired "wok hay," the smokey flavor that can only be accomplished by a good chef, high temps, and a seasoned wok. The dish was also on the dry side, lacking a copious amount of gravy that might have otherwise concealed any flaws in the chef's technique. The only downside was that the dish was slightly oily. *
Salt and Pepper Squid. Well done. Light coating on tender squid pieces. The only thing lacking was more hot pepper.
Hong Kong Style Crab. A whole crab coated and fried in a mixture of spices and other goodies. The crab was on point, tender and sweet. The dish, though, was slightly oily. Either the oil wasn't hot enough when the crab pieces were cooked, or the kitchen didn't drain them off well enough before finishing the dish with spices.
The oil issues at this meal are something I attribute to the kitchen being slammed as banquet tables began to fill up.
* In the past, I have had luffa and A choy. It is always good to ask the waitress what the kitchen has.